Chinese billionaire Richard Liu settles civil suit over alleged rape in US a day before the JD.com founder was to face trial
- The JD.com founder reached a settlement with former University of Minnesota student Liu Jingyao, who accused him of rape in 2018
- ‘The parties agreed to set aside their differences … to avoid further pain and suffering caused by the lawsuit,’ law firm Florin Roebig said
“The incident between Ms Jingyao Liu and Mr Richard Liu in Minnesota in 2018 resulted in a misunderstanding that has consumed substantial public attention and brought profound suffering to the parties and their families,” Florin Roebig, a law firm representing the plaintiff Liu, said in a statement on Sunday.
“Today, the parties agreed to set aside their differences, and settle their legal dispute in order to avoid further pain and suffering caused by the lawsuit,” the firm said. It added that there will not be any further comment from all parties involved.
A jury of 12, including seven women and five men, had been selected as of September 30 to hear the civil suit, according to a report published that day by Minnesota newspaper Star Tribune. These jurors were supposed to be present during opening statements of the trial on October 3.
Before their settlement, details of which were not released, the plaintiff had asked the court for damages and punitive judgment against defendant Liu, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth US$10.9 billion as of October 2.
Their agreement closes a sordid chapter for the JD.com founder, who has avoided the limelight since August 31, 2018, after he was arrested and briefly detained by Minneapolis police for the alleged rape.
Liu, who had maintained his innocence through representatives, was jailed for about 17 hours before being released by police. Hours later, he flew to China, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.